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April 28, 2006

Androids and Zombies

A couple of things to get you through Friday:

First, wondering what the cover of my next novel will look like? Wonder no more:


No, that's not the actual book the cover's wrapped around; it's on the SFBC version of The Ghost Brigades. The actual book for The Android's Dream is still several months away (although, of course, you can pre-order it now).

I like this cover. It's got sheep!

Second, Jonathan Coulton cracks me the hell up. "Re: Your Brains" is a great song that combines all the brain-freezing terror of a zombie attack with the mind-numbing banality of a conference call. You can't go wrong, here. You just can't. (If you can't get the "listen to this" button to work on that page, you can probably get it work here.) Buy some of his mp3s, why don't you.

Posted by john at April 28, 2006 01:22 PM

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John Popa | April 28, 2006 01:41 PM

Do you get any kick out of your 'Best Selling Author' billing?

John Scalzi | April 28, 2006 01:43 PM

Well, yeah.

JonathanMoeller | April 28, 2006 01:46 PM

Are they electric sheep?

John Scalzi | April 28, 2006 01:48 PM

Funny you should ask.

JonathanMoeller | April 28, 2006 02:02 PM

Old Dick would be proud. Assuming VALIS was not talking to him at the time.

Martin Wagner | April 28, 2006 02:06 PM

Maybe they are electric sheep, just wireless. Makes me think of a King Crimson song from an alternate universe: "21st Century Bluetooth Lambs."

M.A. | April 28, 2006 02:13 PM

"Re: Your Brains" is fabulous. I swear I've worked with that guy... hey, and I just found a theramin lounge band everybody should know about: http://www.projectpimento.com/index.html
Their "Peter Gunn" is truly amazing.

Harry Connolly | April 28, 2006 02:17 PM

Great cover! I love it.

Brian Greenberg | April 28, 2006 02:27 PM

Given what you've told us about the first chapter, shouldn't those little bubbles be coming out of the android's other end?

Kevin Q | April 28, 2006 02:28 PM

I think that's my favorite Scalzi cover yet. It looks like it could be a litfic or chicklit cover. Can't wait for the book inside.


Firebyrd | April 28, 2006 04:21 PM

I must say thank you. I never mentioned it before, but when you linked to "Skullcrusher Mountain" on By the Way, it eventually led to us buying the CD it's on. I love Jonathan Coulton!

Scot B. | April 28, 2006 04:23 PM

Isn't that a little dangerously close to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Jon | April 28, 2006 05:00 PM

It does suggest a certain connectedness. But it's a nifty cover, and you can't copyright an idea.

That's a cool song. I'm also a big fan of his "Skullcrusher Mountain."

John Scalzi | April 28, 2006 05:40 PM

Scot B:

"Isn't that a little dangerously close to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Dangerously? No. Intentionally? Well, yes.

Justine Larbalestier | April 28, 2006 06:24 PM

Definitely your best cover yet. I loves it. And it fits the book really well. Congrats, Mr Bestselling Author Man!

David Klecha | April 28, 2006 07:05 PM

You know, someone else beat me to it, but that's a very "mainstream" cover... just the sort of thing that you've been talking about. I wonder if this means someone is listening?

John Scalzi | April 28, 2006 07:19 PM

David Klecha:

"I wonder if this means someone is listening?"

Yes, both Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Irene Gallo, who is the art director for Tor, allowed me to give my thoughts on the cover (my general opinions; I did not suggest this particular direction because I figure Irene knows her job better than I do).

David Klecha | April 28, 2006 07:54 PM

Well, you couldn't ask for better listeners, fer damn sure.

Michael G. Richard | April 28, 2006 10:33 PM

Looks really good and I'm sure it will have a significant impact on sales among non sf-ers. Cool.

Steve Ely | April 29, 2006 12:03 AM

John, thanks for the Jonathan Coulton recommendation. I really love "Re Your Brains." What a great song. I listened to just a couple others; "Code Monkey" is brilliant and "The Presidents" is good, but I didn't feel as compelled to buy either, as I did with "Brains."

It looks from previous comments as if maybe you've mentioned "Skullcrusher Mountain" before, but I missed that. Are there any others of his songs that really stand out?

oshee | April 29, 2006 01:55 AM

I love the color. It is just going to beam out from the displays in the book stores. People will find it irresitable.
I bet it would be amazing under black lights. :-)

Mary | April 29, 2006 01:36 PM

Awesome cover, John. I'm clutching my Canadian bucks in my hand waiting for my chance to buy it.

Now I'm going to get just a wee bit fangirly over Coulton, which is all John's fault for including that link to Skullcrusher Mountain on his other blog ages back. He's got a MySpace page that streams several of his songs here. Steve, I also recommend these songs for the Coulton newbie to get an idea of his range. He's not just about the funny lyrics, although those are brilliant, too.

* First of May (I'm waiting for the appropriate Disney video -- OK, maybe not)

* Screwed (bitter love song, beautiful melody, mass of historical and fictional allusions)

* Gambler's Prayer (bitter gambling song, anti-friendship, beautiful melody)

* When You Go (a gorgeous Thing a Week from a couple of weeks back, not funny, just sincere)

* Mandelbrot Set (one of the best math songs ever, recently set to video by some high school students)

And if you caught The Daily Show this past Tuesday when John Hodgman was on as their Resident Expert, you heard him namecheck Coulton as the winner of an essay contest. That song fragment played was more original Coulton and he was in the audience that night. If you missed it, scroll down to April 26 and 25 in Coulton's blog (the first link John posted) to his two posts about it, which include links to official and unofficial videos and mp3s.

erin | April 29, 2006 02:17 PM

RE: Jonathan Coulton. Skullcrusher Mountain is great, of course. I like The Future Soon for sheer pop goodness, and I can't remember the title of the song (Betty and Me?), but the line "Betty says they're working on a baby every night" cracks me up every. single. time.

And Ikea is fun, and has the brilliant rhyme of "Norsemen" and "divorced men". :)

Dave Schaefer | April 30, 2006 04:46 PM

Hey John, I just want to add my thanks for linking to Coulton's music. 'Re Your Brains' is great. I liked it so much it's the first mp3 purchase I've made online. Hooray for technology!


Bobarino | May 1, 2006 12:36 AM

Wow, that Jonathan Coulton is just great--Fountains of Wayne meets They Might Be Giants. And the guy can sing.

For a great rockabilly song, try "Madelaine."

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